Audition Requirements

While ensembles have already begun rehearsals for the season, NVYO does allow students to audition mid-season to join for the January-March rehearsal and concert set, if space allows.   Register here to request . We will do our best to arrange a time for you at the conductors’ discretion.

1. Read all the information on this page, and for specific audition requirements visit these pages: Philharmonic audition and Symphony audition  information.

Instruments in the orchestras: violin, viola, cello, string bass, harp*, piccolo, flute, oboe/ English horn, bassoon, clarinet/bass clarinet, saxophone*, french horn, trumpet, trombone, tuba, percussion

* indicates that these instruments are not called for in all pieces, and students auditioning on these instruments may not play every concert. We will work on a case by case basis to make registration and tuition fair. Should students wish to audition on a second instrument which could be played when this one is not called for, that would be encouraged.

Stringswinds/brass/percussion accepted will be placed in Philharmonic or Symphony based on level of playing at the audition and  the orchestras’ needs. Registration and tuition payment, as well as release paperwork, will be due upon acceptance. See this page for more information: MEMBER LINK

The audition consists of a prepared scale (required scales listed for Philharmonic),solo or etude, and provided sight-reading (Philharmonic) or prepared orchestral excerpt (Symphony) Note that Students wishing to be considered for Symphony must prepare the orchestral excerpt, available here.

SCALE: Choose a major or melodic minor scale that demonstrates your pitch, tone, and range. Strings should play 3 octaves or more except string bass (2 octaves) and harp (comparable arpeggios); winds and brass 2 octaves. Please consult with your teacher for an appropriate choice. Scale help can be found in standard method books and online. 

SOLO : Choose something you can play well and that demonstrates your current level of playing. It can be all or a portion of a solo piece or exercise. If your selection is all slow or all fast, consider two smaller excerpts that show a variety of styles. 

If the prepared solo is not at the level expected, the sight reading selection chosen may be more difficult to assess ability level. Percussionists: bring your own sticks/mallets, and prepare a mallet/snare solo or etude; percussionists should be prepared to demonstrate ability to play timpani, snare and bells.

Contact Naomi Welsh with questions –, 701-757-3009 or 701-213-0310

Important note: orchestral placement is at the discretion of the conductors, regardless of the student’s declared intent.  Age alone is never a determining factor in orchestral placement; NVYO ensembles are arranged by playing level. Orchestral assignment is made with intent to create the overall best experience for each student.


Important: minimum requirements!

Philharmonic is designed for students who are playing at least at the level of the end of Book 3 of their school orchestra or band book, can read music, and strings should be comfortable shifting in 1st – 4th positions (5th position for violin and bass). Wind, brass and percussion players should be strong, independent musicians. Students should be prepared to play in keys up to four sharps or flats. Some orchestral/band experience is necessary, and a good sense of rhythm and pitch is expected. Representative scales and ranges expected are listed below. Audition is required: scale as listed, prepared solo, and sight reading.  Online audition signup on the home page.

Symphony  is designed for advancing string, wind, brass and percussion players. Students are expected to be proficient in all keys, be comfortable in upper positions/alternate fingerings, and know advanced articulations/bowings. Students should be strong, independent players with good music reading skills and experience in orchestral playing. Transposition (brass, winds) and alternate clefs may occur in Symphony selections. Audition is required: Solo, Scale (3 octaves + for strings, 2+ for string bass, 2 for brass/winds) or percussion etude; students wishing to be considered for Symphony must also prepare the appropriate excerpt for their instrument ***(click link for excerpts) Online audition signup on the home page.

Symphony strings must demonstrate ability to play 3 octaves+ (string bass 2+)

***2018-19 audition excerpts: Most Symphony excerpts are taken from  Holst’s Planets or Williams Star Wars Suite, with some other selections. Print the appropriate excerpt and consult with your teacher and/or online recordings to prepare it with the correct tempo and style.

Upcoming Events

Feb 17 – Symphony rehearsal, 12:30-2:30 pm at Empire Arts Center

Feb. 18 – Philharmonic rehearsal, 6:45 at GF Central HS (door #6)